The best places for hot chocolate in Glasgow and Edinburgh

The cafes and chocolatiers who serve up the sweet stuff

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The best places for hot chocolate in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Clockwise from top left: Temper Chocolates, Kimble’s, Coffee Chocolate and Tea, Coco, The Chocolate Tree, Peter’s Yard

Hot chocolate is the latest beverage to break free from its powdered past and is now receiving proper treatment. The List sent Jay Thundercliffe and Carine Seitz out in search of the real stuff in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Temper Chocolates

148 Woodside Terrace Lane, Charing Cross, 07886 215209
This tiny café-cum-shop-cum-factory makes for a pilgrimage for hot chocolate lovers. Chocolatier Kirsty Shepheard’s own blend of 70 per cent organic dark chocolate with chilli, lavender or cardamom is melted into steamed milk for a decadent delight. There’s a sweeter milk and dark mix plus a white version, or pray there is some sipping chocolate with a splash of kirsch — like drinking liquid truffles in chocolate heaven.

Kimble’s

St Enoch Centre, City Centre, 249 9955. www.ilovekimbles.co.uk
This family-run chocolatiers offers an assortment box of hot chocolate delights at their impressive independent café, shop and deli. The ciocchino — a rich and creamy sipping shot — is an indulgent blend of dark and milk chocolates and cream. Add milk for a clearer conscience or experiment with the range of fruit and nut syrups. Other temptations include chilli and nutmeg varieties, and twiddle sticks for self-melting.

Coffee, Chocolate and Tea

944 Argyle Street, Finnieston, 204 3161. www.coffeechocolateandtea.com
Coffee-supremos and chocolatiers CC&T ain’t too shabby when it comes to hot chocolate as well. They do a big cup of house blend that uses 100 per cent cocoa powder with other secret ingredients to create a deliciously balanced cocoa concoction. If that doesn’t satisfy there are espresso shots of Valrhona’s creamy drinking chocolate, steam-heated for a rich and airy
cocoa hit.

Coco

174 Bruntsfield Place, 228 4526. www.cocochocolate.co.uk
Coco is a purveyor of fine organic chocolate. From their beautiful little shop in Bruntsfield you can choose from an extraordinary selection of different products including a hot chocolate range made with a blend of 64 per cent cocoa mass and a tiny dash of Valrhona cocoa powder to add depth.Their hot chocolate blended with rose oil and black pepper has a very delicate flavour, with hints of Turkish Delight, and is served with a hand-made chocolate on the side.

Chocolate Tree

123 Bruntsfield Place, 228 3144. www.the-chocolate-tree.co.uk
The Chocolate Tree uses organically produced cacao from small plantations. Their single origin Ugandan 80 percent hot chocolate has a deeply seductive, intense flavour which lingers on the palate without tasting too sweet, while their Spanish-style hot chocolate is a vast cup of melted dark chocolate served with a freshly-baked sugared pastry on the side for dipping. Incredibly rich and indulgent, but worth slipping into a sugar-coma for.

Peter’s Yard

Quartermile, 27 Simpson Loan, 228 5876. www.petersyard.com
Those Swedes at Peter’s Yard know a thing or two about baking, and it turns out their expertise stretches to hot chocolate too. Using Valrhona chocolate powder, the drink has a nice intensity of flavour. If you go for the option to add an infusion of cardamom, the aromatic scent mixes beautifully to create an aromatic blend. Also, top marks for presentation for the café’s beautiful latte-art pattern on the surface.

The chocolate pro

Rebecca Knights-Kerswell, owner of Coco Chocolate in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, explains what proper hot chocolate is all about. And no, she doesn’t mention marshmallows

‘The most important ingredient in drinking chocolate is chocolate! Many brands of mass produced hot chocolate supplement poor quality cocoa with powdered milk, excessive sugar and artificial sweeteners and flavourings, resulting in a drink that tastes sickly and unsatis fyingly bland. However I believe that enjoying a mug of hot chocolate should be a far more sumptuous experience.

‘I use only real chocolate, hand flaking huge blocks of Coco’s handmade organic 64 per cent dark chocolate and adding just a little of the finest quality cocoa powder to bring the cocoa content up to 70 per cent. That’s it: no added sugar and nothing artificial! I prepare it by melting several generous teaspoons in hot milk – or soya milk for my vegan friends – to create a divine velvety drink that’s a rich heady brown and full of flavour.’

Coco Chocolate produces chocolate in its own Edinburgh kitchens, which opens its doors twice a month for a chocolate school.

Comments

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1. Michaelav8921 Jan 2011, 10:40am Report

Try Elephant and Bagel in Edinburgh, i love their hot chocolates, you can even get a large variety of flavours from the standard hazelnut to toasted marshmallow!!! I am not a coffee or tea drinker so this cafe has been my saviour during the cold months :D

2. louise8628 Jan 2011, 7:04am Report

Artisan Roast also uses Coco of bruntsfield's chocolate for their hot chocolates - they have around 5 different favors including the yummy Rose and black-pepper

3. Francis Beacon1 Mar 2011, 7:00am Report

My vote is for Temper; their hot chocolate actually tastes like molten chocolate and is amazing. This is a different league, probably because the manufacture their own chocolate from scratch.

4. Neilroy5 Jun 2012, 11:08am Report

I had a great chilli-laced hot chocolate in Freeman's the other day. I'm not sure how long they've been in their Marchmont location but it's new to me and comes highly recommended. Great coffee too.

5. Emm-J3 Feb 2013, 9:58pm Report

Stopped by Kimbles at the weekend to sample their hot chocolate but have got to say it was a bit disappointing. I always think that the hot chocolate in chocolate shops will be amazing - really rich, creamy and chocolately. Looking forward to trying out Temper, sounds like just what I'm looking for.

6. littlebluedevil1 May 2013, 5:27pm Report

If its hot chocolate you want then The Chocolate Tree in Edinburgh is THE only place to go. Beautiful little cafe with a huge choice of hot chocolate,and everyone is fantastic. They also offer a good choice of tea and coffee. The Chocolate Tree is different as they produce all chocolate from there own sourced bean. They offer a huge range of bean-to-chocolate chocolate bars all made by themselfs and also a huge range of home made cakes. You really couldnt ask for a better place. The price range rivals that of the mass produced brand name shops.

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